Poetry Pointers

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  1. Try to write every day. Don’t wait for inspiration to strike.


  1. Play to your strengths. If you prefer to write in rhyme, do so. If not, don’t. It doesn’t matter whether a poem rhymes or not.


  1. Having said that, it is also important to push yourself out of your comfort zone from time to time.


  1. Don’t write to a formula. If your writing interests you, it will probably interest other people. If it bores you, it will probably bore others.


  1. Don’t take rejection personally. Remember, it is only your poem that is being rejected, not you.


  1. Talent is overrated. Persistence is much more important.


  1. Know the markets. Write with the markets in mind.


  1. Having said that, don’t write with the markets in mind all the time. It is important to have fun with your poetry, and take risks. Try not to get too serious about it all.


  1. If you’re stuck for an idea, choose something small and insignificant to start with, and build from there.


  1. Celebrate your mistakes. They are evidence of your productivity. Remember, the most mistakes are made by the most successful people.


Thanks to Stephen Whiteside for these excellent tips on writing poetry. Stephen’s collection of rhyming verse for children, ‘The Billy That Died With Its Boots On’ and Other Australian Verse, was published by Walker Books in 2014. In 2015, the book won a “Golden Gumleaf” award for “Book of the Year” at the Australian Bush Laureate Awards during the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Visit his website for more details.


Poem of the Day

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The Feely Bag


What’s inside the feely bag?

Please tell us what you feel.


A slimy, slippery frog perhaps,

That makes you squirm and reel.


A ragged, worn-out kitchen sponge,

That’s squelchy, smelly, wet.


Or Cody’s wriggly garden worms,

The biggest he could get.


Do bristles scrape your fingertips,

When lifting something up?


Is it a nailbrush, Stickle Brick,

Some Velcro in a cup?


It may be soft with rubber wings,

And live inside a cave.


A tingly touch might make you scared

To guess you must be brave.


Lynette Oxley


  • In response to Poetry Prompt #18


Lynette said: I wrote about preschool children who are willing to put their hands in a Feely Bag and guess what the contents might be. This activity promotes language development.






Poem of the Day


Montague Shoe


Have you heard the story of Montague Shoe?

He fitted a left foot — ’twas all he could do.


But the shoe that fitted the right foot was lost,

So into the trashcan poor Monty was tossed.


But there in the trash Montague found

A shoe for a right foot — ’twas perfectly sound.


They became a new pair, one black and one blue,

And that was the story of Montague Shoe.


James Aitchison

Poem of the Day

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What is Red?


I strolled in the woods,

Wearing a red hood.

Looking cool in the neighbourhood.



I knock, knocked at Granny’s door.

I heard a terrible snore.

Just like a dinosaur roar.


Poor granny lay dead still.

Given a sleeping pill.

I’m no dill.



My eyes could see

You were dressed to trick me.

I pretended all was as it should be.



In the big four-poster bed you lay,

Hoping I would play.

But this was my day to make you pay.



All was not what it seemed.

Your sharp teeth gleamed.

Showing you for who you are was my dream.



A mean cold stare,

Laid you bare.

Come closer you dared.


I had to be brave

To save poor granny from the grave.

Coming your way was a shock wave.



I may be sweet and dressed in red

But you should be filled with dread.

That isn’t Granny in the sickbed.



I asked the secret code word of you

You looked blue

You had no clue.



Three letters please

Don’t be a tease.

I can see you freeze



Tell me now

Stop wrinkling your brow

On your nose ‘kapow!’


The code word is red.

Your face is red.

You run with dread.


Sharing is caring

Your red face is laid bare

For now there is no one you can scare.


Karen Hendriks








Poetry Prompt #20

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Hi everyone, here’s a fun one for you this week. Play with it. Think yourself back to childhood and let your imagination roam freely. I’m really looking forward to seeing what wonderful poems you come up with … it’s always exciting to check my in box and read the latest submissions. A big thank you to everyone who’s been submitting regularly. Your support for this site is much appreciated.  Please keep your contributions coming in. Send poems to me at teenawriter@gmail.com as a Word or Text file attachment and add a few lines about your writing process. Don’t forget to include your name on your poem.

Happy writing!


Poem of the Day


River Run


Run river run:

sIlver over stones

riVer sobs and moans;

briEf gleam in the sun:

riveR run and run.



Run River run

rapId to the seas;

riVer leap with ease,

tEasing just for fun:

River run and run.

Jaz Stutley


  • Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #19



Poem of the Day




“Why?” as a child is a popular word.

It shows that we want to know more of our world.

And sometimes we learn

some incredible things:


Like why the sky’s blue

and what is a gnu

and how you can catch

the measles and ‘flu.

And back in the past

how much harder life was

because of the things

that nobody knew.


It’s part of our nature to want to know why

despite that the answer’s a truth or a lie.

And sometimes we learn

some incredible myths:


Like why Santa comes

only once a year.

And when will the Easter

Bunny appear.

Descriptions of monsters

that cause us great fear.

And how crystal balls

make everything clear.


While we’re a child, all answers seem true

(until we get older and think them all through).

But even as adults we frequently find

it’s not always easy to change our mind!


Celia Berrell
  • Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #17

Celia said: Got a question?  Nowadays we can look for answers on the internet any time 24/7.  But how can we tell if the information we find there is true or false?  That’s another question!